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Utilization of flotation wastes of copper slag as raw material in cement production

Journal of Hazardous Materials
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.02.056
  • Waste Recycling
  • Copper Slag
  • Clinker
  • Tclp
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Geography


Abstract Copper slag wastes, even if treated via processes such as flotation for metal recovery, still contain heavy metals with hazardous properties posing environmental risks for disposal. This study reports the potential use of flotation waste of a copper slag (FWCS) as iron source in the production of Portland cement clinker. The FWCS appears a suitable raw material as iron source containing >59% Fe 2O 3 mainly in the form of fayalite (Fe 2SiO 4) and magnetite (Fe 3O 4). The clinker products obtained using the FWCS from the industrial scale trial operations over a 4-month period were characterised for the conformity of its chemical composition and the physico-mechanical performance of the resultant cement products was evaluated. The data collected for the clinker products produced using an iron ore, which is currently used as the cement raw material were also included for comparison. The results have shown that the chemical compositions of all the clinker products including those of FWCS are typical of a Portland cement clinker. The mechanical performance of the standard mortars prepared from the FWCS clinkers were found to be similar to those from the iron ore clinkers with the desired specifications for the industrial cements e.g. CEM I type cements. Furthermore, the leachability tests (TCLP and SPLP) have revealed that the mortar samples obtained from the FWCS clinkers present no environmental problems while the FWCS could act as the potential source of heavy metal contamination. These findings suggest that flotation wastes of copper slag (FWCS) can be readily utilised as cement raw material due to its availability in large quantities at low cost with the further significant benefits for waste management/environmental practices of the FWCS and the reduced production and processing costs for cement raw materials.

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